October is LGBT History Month

South Central MIRECC News Flash Announcement

October is LGBT History Month

Veterans with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) and related identities have served honorably in the US military and many seek care in VA facilities. All Veterans are welcome at VA, including those who identify as a sexual or gender minority.

Sexual and gender minority Veterans have faced stigma and discrimination, which can affect health. As a health care institution, we need to work tirelessly to ensure all Veterans, including LGBT Veterans, are treated with the respect.

In honor of LGBT History Month, we want to recognize those Veterans who have played a significant role in LGBT history.

Rainbow flag

The rainbow flag was designed in 1978 by Veteran Gilbert Baker (US Army 1970-1972) who created the flag in response to a local activist's call for the need of a community symbol. Baker designed a flag with eight stripes: pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet representing, respectively: sexuality, life, healing, sun, nature, art, harmony, and spirit. Baker dyed and sewed the material for the first flag himself. The six-stripe version has been used since 1979 and is recognized across the world.  

Transgender flag

The transgender flag was designed in 1999 by Veteran Monica Helms (US Navy 1970-1978). The flag represents the transgender community and consists of five horizontal stripes: two light blue, two pink, with a white stripe in the center.  The blue and pink represent traditional colors of boys and girls; the white represents intersex, transitioning, or agender individuals.  The flag is designed to be correct whichever way it is flown.  This flag first appeared at the Phoenix, AZ LGBT Pride celebration in 2000.

This month of October, take steps to remind Veterans of the importance of open communication in the healthcare environment. Download, print, and display the posters below in common areas of your facility, including reception areas. 

Download Posters

LGBT do ask do tell posters

About Us

The mission of the South Central MIRECC is to promote equity in engagement, access, and quality of mental health care for Veterans facing barriers to care, especially rural Veterans. Learn more at https://www.mirecc.va.gov/VISN16/index.asp

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